As part of the 2000 season the Arizona Diamondbacks introduced something they called the Golden Gloves. A Golden Glove is an elderly person dressed in a full Diamondbacks uniform whose responsibility it is to retrieve foul balls along the first base and third base line. Before I get a bunch of email complaining about my use of the word elderly let me explain that to me, if you are in your later sixties or older then to me you are elderly. In fact, if you can remember when gasoline was less than a dollar and you were driving at the time you are probably elderly. Anyway, these Golden Glove participants are introduced before each game and tip their hats to the cheering fans. Cheering fans in this case are those who are right behind the Golden Glove and are either trying to get on the JumboTron during the introduction or are trying to suck up to the Golden Glove in hopes that they will throw you a ball. You see the Golden Glove is allowed to give the foul ball to a fan in the stands once he has retrieved it. It therefore becomes a fight to see who can garner the attention of the Golden Glove and get a game ball.
Most of the Golden Glove participants seem to be nice enough. Most of them could be your grandfather and everybody loves to hang out with grandpa. Within the last couple of years the Diamondbacks have also allowed women to become a Golden Glove. Somehow though that just doesn’t seem right. None of the Diamondbacks are female so why should the Golden Glove be? That is a debate that is discussed around our house a lot but no answer ever comes from it. The Golden Glove always has his glove and attempts to retrieve the balls that are hit. Some of these guys though probably should think about retiring from the game. A few games ago one of the old guys tried to reach down to collect a ball and fell over. I was worried he might have broken a hip or something. Today’s Golden Glove is fairly new at the job and fairly old on the planet. His skills probably have fallen off a little even since the all star break. He seemed to even have problems with the wardrobe. He was obviously an old school ball player as he chose to wear the high pants that show off his purple socks from the knee down. The problem was that he only did that with one leg. The right pant leg went down to almost his ankle making him look like he was walking uphill with one leg. When a foul ball was hit down the line he seemed to have problems getting up off his stool to get to the ball. When he did get up he was more like a croquet wicket where he stood there and let the ball come to him and stop against his shoe. Waiting for him to get the ball was like watching paint dry. The Diamondbacks players must have sensed this too because Hudson and Quentin were going over to get more balls than they normally do. I’m all for giving the old guys a job but the Diamondbacks might want to strengthen their try-out process. Maybe though these guys are like Luis Gonzalez and are in the last year of their contracts. Next year we’ll go down to Tucson and get one of the youngsters who are working at Wal-Mart as a greeter. They’re more athletic and probably make league minimum. It seems maybe the Diamondbacks youth movement goes beyond just the players on the field.
On a game related note, Carlos Quentin recorded his fifth hit by pitch when he was struck by Chris Young of the San Diego Padres. This brings Quentin’s mark to 37 for the year between Tucson and Arizona. Carlos is within three of being the Diamondbacks team leader in this statistic. That mark is currently held by Craig Counsell but is well within Quentin’s reach if he applies himself (literally).